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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2006
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR COMMENDS THE SENATE FOR PASSING HR 810, The Stem Cell Enhancement Act, and URGES THE PRESIDENT NOT TO ISSUE A VETO

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) commended the United States Senate for passing HR 810, The Stem Cell Enhancement Act, by a vote of 63-27. NAEVR also urged President Bush not to veto this legislation, which holds the promise of discovery for treatments and therapies for a variety of debilitating conditions.

"As with its passage in the House last May, the Senate vote on HR 810 reflected strong bipartisan support for expanding the administration’s current policy on embryonic stem cell research," stated NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky, who noted that the vision research community had emailed thousands of letters to Senate offices in support of HR 810.

Jorkasky added that NAEVR fully supports a statement issued immediately after the vote by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), a co-sponsor of the bill with Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), who urged the President not to veto the legislation. Senator Specter stated that, “With this strong showing today, it is my hope that President Bush will listen to 73 percent of the American people and 63 percent of the U.S. Senate.” Senator Specter referred to recent opinion polls that have reported that a majority of the American public supports stem cell research.

NAEVR has supported expanded embryonic stem cell research due to the promise it holds for the more than 100 million Americans suffering from debilitating diseases and disorders, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, spinal cord injuries and diabetes, which results in sight-impairing diabetic retinopathy. Embryonic stem cell research also holds the promise of treatments for other eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa.

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. NAEVR’s goal is to achieve the best vision for all Americans through advocacy and public education for eye and vision research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Eye Institute (NEI) and other federal research entities. Visit NAEVR’s Web site at www.eyeresearch.org.